My friends really wanted their daughters to be biligual, too.. Since
they were, Spanish/English, they decided to only speak Spanish
in the home to the children. They heard English outside the home and of course, on TV. They were really dedicated and kept to this,
but thought their efforts were in vain as the girls only spoke
English. But 2 years later, when they were visiting relatives
in Mexico, they suddenly realized that the voices they heard
in the other room speaking Spanish ... were their 2 daughters!
So their plan did work, tho at first they thought it hadn't.
Obviously you also are bilingual, so if you concentrate on
speaking English only to your son, and maybe supplement that
with some English language videos (like Baby Einstein or
Sesame Street) that should help. You really don't want him to
forget his Chinese, once he is in school he will pick up a lot
from being with English-speaking classmates and there may
come a time when he might refuse to speak Chinese. Its not
going to be easy, consistency is what works. Start speaking to him. Show him objects and maybe use flash cards.
Once he's in preschool, he will learn very very fast. books, umm kids tv shows Just show him the objects that you are refering to. Pick up a spoon and say "spoon". Point to the television and say "television." Also buy him picture books with animals and other objects and teach him the English names. i thought there was a study out saying that teaching a young child more than 1 language might cause them to not understand either one efficiently You want him to be bilingual at 2?!? Good god, your expectations are a LITTLE high don't you think. maybe you chould label things around the house in english, and when he points to that object say the word to him.
or you can get an "at home" tutor
but make sure he learns while he is still young, it is extremely difficult to learn a language at an older age You need to converse with him in simple English more often. That really depends on where you're living. If you're living in the US where everyone else speaks English, he will learn soon enough because of the influence of the language that he gets in school and with his peers (I assume they're also English speakers). Children are like sponges when learning languages so just keep speaking Chinese at home and if he goes to an English speaking school, he will learn it simultaneously without being confused. You should just keep speaking chinese with your son. He will learn english when he starts school. He's very young, so he will pick up the language quickly. I know this because my sister only speaks German to her children, and while their first words were german words, they start to pick up english words later when they interact with other children who speak english. If you can't speak English, please have someone close to you and your child speak English to him daily...often. It would be good for you to learn as well. You need to expose him to more English medium programmes on tv. And everytime you teach him a new word in Mandarin, tell him the English term as well. Get him to repeat the words in both English and Mandarin. A young child picks up linguistic skills at an amazing rate.
To get started on speaking more English at home, you need to speak to him in English more often. And if he asks you a question in Mandarin, ask him to rephrase his question in English. Don't entertain his question until he mouths the question in English. Don't forget to praise him often. And constantly remind him that both languages are equally important. Yes! Keep him there.the exposure is perfect for him. His mind is like an absorbant sponge at this age and it's the PERFECT time for him to be where he is. Be patient! And expect him to learn a bit slower than the children who are only focusing on one language. In time he will catch up AND be bilingual! As an adult, he will have advantages that children who are not bilingual will not have. Being bilingual is quite a skill and greatly sought after. Source(s):
Head Start teacher 20+ years.
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